News in brief

February 28, 2013

More massive and multilingual too

Two leading US massive open online course providers have each almost doubled the number of universities offering courses on their respective platforms. Coursera, a private for-profit Mooc provider, has announced 29 more university partners, taking the total number in its stable to 62. Courses from six new institutions have been added to the offerings of edX, a not-for-profit Mooc provider jointly run by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bringing its total to 12. Among the new Coursera partners are 16 non-US institutions, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo. Under this expansion, the organisation will for the first time offer courses in multiple languages. Moocs will be available in French, Spanish, Chinese and Italian, the company said. The new edX partners, meanwhile, come from Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Australia and Switzerland.

Aerospace engineering
MScs get lift-off via £6m boost

A new £6 million bursary scheme for master’s students in aerospace engineering, co-funded by the UK government and industry, has opened for applications. The scheme will cover tuition fees of up to £9,500 for 500 MSc students over the next three years. The bursaries, announced last July, will be awarded via a competition run by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Aeronautical Society. Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: “Our aerospace industry is a world leader, but unless we create a new generation of engineers we’ll struggle to keep ahead of the competition.” Students accepted on to the scheme will be encouraged to undertake projects that address the challenges faced by industry. Sponsoring firms, which will fund half the cost of the bursaries, include BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and EADS/Airbus.

Pre-degree courses
Gloucestershire-INTO joint venture

The University of Gloucestershire has agreed to validate a number of pre- degree courses for international students as part of a new tie-up with the private company INTO University Partnerships. Gloucestershire becomes the 10th UK university to enter a joint venture with INTO. Starting in September, students will be able to enrol on four different programmes that will allow them to “progress seamlessly” to a degree at Gloucestershire. The new courses include business, management and law; accounting and information systems; hospitality, events and tourism; and art, design and media. It is hoped that the joint venture will “transform international student recruitment at the university”, according to a statement from Gloucestershire.

THE Leadership and Management Awards
Deadline looms - don’t delay

The deadline is approaching for entries to the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013. With 15 categories covering everything from international strategy, student services and fundraising to human resources, estates and admissions, the awards showcase the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions. The awards are free to enter, and entry closes on 10 March at midnight. The awards ceremony will take place on 20 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London.

Online now

News of a series of UK university research partnerships and scholarships that have been created with the aim of bolstering trade and education links with India attracted heated online debate last week. “Britain should look after its own students and give them scholarships,” contended a reader posting as “The equaliser”. But “The unequaliser” countered: “These scholarships are peanuts compared to the money pumped in by Indian students to the UK economy. People think the UK government and officials are stupid and haven’t done their homework.”

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